Harrisburg Medical Malpractice Lawyers
We Represent Families Impacted by Preventable Birth Injuries such as Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral palsy is a group of neurological disorders that primarily affect a baby’s motor function and muscle coordination. It is caused by brain damage that occurs before, during or shortly after birth. Many times cerebral palsy occurs as a result of medical malpractice.
A doctor may fail to order a cesarean section delivery in a timely manner or may fail to recognize the signs that a cesarean section delivery is necessary. The medical staff may not be vigilant in monitoring the mother or fetus during the labor and delivery process. Medical devices such as forceps or a vacuum extractor may be used improperly during a delivery causing brain damage. If a medical error or medical negligence has caused your child to suffer from cerebral palsy, let our compassionate Pittsburgh medical malpractice lawyers help you seek justice and the compensation you need for your child’s future.
Risk Factors for Cerebral Palsy
There are several risk factors that increase a child’s likelihood of being born with cerebral palsy. Obstetricians, doctors, nurses and other healthcare providers should recognize and appropriately intervene when these factors are identified in order to prevent a cerebral palsy birth injury. Some of the more common risk factors for cerebral palsy include:
- Premature birth
- Low birth weight
- Prolonged or complicated labor and delivery
- Blood type incompatibility
- Breech births
- Placenta problems
- Multiple births
- Maternal age
- Oxygen deprivation or asphyxia
- Maternal and fetal infections
Symptoms of Cerebral Palsy
The signs and symptoms of cerebral palsy may not manifest themselves until a child is at least six months old. The first sign that any problem exists is usually when an infant fails to master their developmental milestones such as rolling over, sitting up, crawling or walking. While each case of cerebral palsy is different and varies in degree the most common symptoms of cerebral palsy include:
- Involuntary movements
- Abnormal muscle tone
- Posture and balance problems
- Scissor or toe walking
- Unsteady gait
- Cognitive impairments
- Behavioral issues
- Learning disabilities
- Speech impairments
- Hearing loss
- Vision problems
Diagnosis and Treatment of Cerebral Palsy
There is no one single test used to diagnose cerebral palsy. A diagnosis is typically made over time based on a child’s medical history and physical examination. Imaging studies of the brain such as CT scans and MRIs help provide detailed information. In addition, specialized doctors such as neurologists are usually involved in confirming a diagnosis. Children are diagnosed with a specific type of cerebral palsy based on their motor impairments. The different types include spastic, ataxic, athetoid and mixed.
There is no cure for cerebral palsy. The brain damage is permanent and irreversible. Treatment is aimed at helping children learn to live as independently as possible with their impairments and limitations, and maximizing their quality of life.
Medications are used to help reduce muscle spasms, alleviate pain and control seizures. Patients often require physical therapy and occupational therapy to help improve movement and function. Braces, orthotics, walkers or wheelchairs are often needed. Speech therapy is prescribed when children have difficulty speaking or problems with swallowing. In addition to these therapies, doctors often recommend surgery to correct anatomical abnormalities or to relieve muscle tightness. Family members are a key component of treatment. Caregivers are given the necessary education and training to assist their children in performing daily tasks. Research in continually being conducted in the area of developing new and improved treatments to help maximize a patient’s abilities.
Seeking Compensation for Medical Malpractice with a Cerebral Palsy Lawsuit
Parents or caregivers of a child who has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy should seek legal advice from an experienced medical malpractice lawyer who can investigate whether a birth injury was caused by physician negligence. Filing a cerebral palsy claim can help families recover compensation for medical expenses, treatments, surgeries, medications, future living expenses, loss of earning capacity, pain and suffering and other damages.
The Law Offices of James R. Moyles: Compassionate Medical Malpractice Lawyers in Pittsburgh and Harrisburg Representing Cerebral Palsy Victims
If your child is suffering from cerebral palsy that you suspect occurred as a result of medical malpractice, contact the experienced Pittsburgh medical malpractice lawyers at The Moyles Law Firm as soon as possible. Lead attorney, James R. Moyles, Esq., has been advocating for the rights of birth injury victims and their families for more than three decades. Not only will our seasoned team of medical malpractice lawyers fight to obtain the maximum compensation to which you are entitled but we will also fight to hold all the healthcare providers accountable for their negligent actions that caused your child’s suffering. With offices conveniently located in both Harrisburg and Pittsburgh, we serve clients throughout the state of Pennsylvania. Call us today at 412-281-1055 or 717-233-5400 to schedule a free consultation with a reputable Pittsburgh personal injury lawyer or submit a free online inquiry.